Avengers: Age of Ultron is finally in theaters, its release taking the record for second largest box office opening of all-time, following just behind its predecessor. And just as Marvel's biggest project ever rolls out and the marketing campaign picks up for Ant-Man releasing in July, work is already beginning on the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Phase 3 begins next summer with Captain America: Civil War, a massive project that brings back directors Anthony and Joe Russo after exceptional work on Captain America: The Winter Soldier - and helps them set themselves up for returning again to direct Avengers: Infinity War a few years down the line. Civil War begins shooting any day now in Atlanta so the last few casting additions are underway. Even today, Martin Freeman was officially confirmed to be joining the cast in an unnamed role but the character the world is dying to find out more about is Spider-Man.
Thanks to a partnership agreement between Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures, longtime fans of Marvel Comics are finally going to see something they've been waiting years to see: Spider-Man joining The Avengers. With the two studios putting the Amazing Spider-Man films behind them and working together to reboot the series again - this time within the Marvel Cinematic Universe - a new Peter Parker is about to be introduced onscreen (Asa Butterfield and Tom Holland are current frontrunners for the role), his first appearance coming in Captain America 3 before starring in his own solo movie in summer 2017.
In the very near future, major announcements are going to be made about this new Spider-Man project, from casting the younger version of the character who will be in high school for a while, to finding out who's going to direct. Early reports had Sinister Six writer-director Drew Goddard (who also helped launch Marvel TV's Daredevil on Netflix) tapped to direct the new Spider-Man but the latest news indicates that this isn't the case.
Goddard could still write the new web-slinger adventure - which may be titled Spectacular Spider-Man or Spider-Man: The New Avenger - or perhaps could help Sony with future spinoffs, maybe even Sinister Six, but according to Deadline one of these directors/director pairs is likely to get the gig:
- Jonathan Levine (50/50, Warm Bodies)
- Theodore "Ted" Melfi (St. Vincent, Roshambo)
- Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect)
- John Francis Daley & Jonathan M. Goldstein (Audio Tour, Vacation)
- Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite, Don Verdean)
Deadline's description of the tone of the project claims that producers Amy Pascal (ex-Sony boss) and Kevin Feige (Marvel Studios boss) are looking for Spider-Man to be a "coming of age tale" with "John Hughes humor and emotion, plus all the superhero stuff." And they expect a selection and announcement to be made by late next week.
Keep in mind, this project is entirely separate from the recently announced animated Spider-Man film that's being produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. That film will be solely a Sony project and one that's not set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron is now in theaters, followed by Ant-Man on July 17 2015, Captain America: Civil War on May 6 2016, Doctor Strange on November 4 2016, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on May 5 2017, Spider-Man on July 28, 2017, Thor: Ragnarok on November 3 2017, Avengers: Infinity War - Part 1 on May 4 2018, Black Panther on July 6 2018, Captain Marvel on November 2 2018, Avengers: Infinity War - Part 2 on May 3 2019 and Inhumans on July 12, 2019.